Corporate Culture – Who Owns It?

A book is entitled "Business Bible" and has a caption that maintains that corporate culture drives a company

If you believe, as we do at LSA Global, that corporate culture, along with talent and strategy, is what drives a company to succeed, it is critical to understand what culture is and who owns the responsibility for shaping it…the leadership or the workforce?

We define corporate culture as the way work truly gets done on a day-to-day basis…and smart leaders know it exists by either design or default. In other words, in every organization there is a combination of assumptions and behaviors that define the collective attitude of a company’s workforce. In some organizations this combination has been carefully crafted over time to best execute a coherent strategy; in others it has reactively evolved without purposeful alignment.

Our organizational alignment research found that corporate culture accounts for 40% of the difference between high and low performing companies.  If you are unhappy with the culture at your organization, what can you do to influence it? And, who will have the greatest impact on changing culture to create higher levels of performance?

We believe that both leaders and employees should own the culture of their organization.

Leaders and Corporate Culture

Perhaps leaders have the most power to design and shape a corporate culture that matters. Since they are responsible for hiring, developing, engaging and retaining talent that performs, they make the decisions about who to bring on board and what behaviors to promote and reward. Leaders are also the ones who define and cascade the strategy that the culture needs to support. Why?  Because strategy, one way or the other, must go through culture to get meaningful results.

But beyond setting up the cultural “way” to support and accelerate a particular business strategy, leaders need to understand their critical role as models of the desired behaviors. The way they act each and every day has a greater influence on their employees than they may realize. Whether they know it or not, leaders are in a fishbowl.  The workforce is always watching. If a leader’s behavior is out of line with the culture they espouse, you can be sure the leader’s behavior, rather than the desired culture, is the one that will win out. Leaders need to understand that the amount of energy they focus on culture will determine how important it appears to employees. Modifying culture is difficult. It takes a sustained and consistent effort over time.

Employees and Corporate Culture

So where do employees fit into organizational culture? They need to take culture one step beyond the example and commitment of leaders…employees need to own their culture, to live and breathe it in every choice they make.

If, for instance, leadership has determined that the company culture needs to support more decentralized decision-making to best execute their strategy, employees (and their bosses) need to make sure they have the knowledge, skills and beliefs to make effective decisions when it matters most.

The Bottom Line

Organizational culture accounts for 40% of the difference between high and low performing organizations.  Culture also occurs either by design or default.  Sustainable cultures are the responsibility of both leaders and employees and should be shaped by both in concert in a way that is aligned with your corporate strategy.

To learn more about creating a high performance and purposeful culture, download The 3 “C’s” that Create High Performance Culture Whitepaper

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Hyperion

Harmonic has worked with LSA for over 8 years. We have found their partnership extremely beneficial. We recently implemented a Management Development Program that was designed and customized to support our company’s strategic initiative of hiring, building, and retaining key intellectual property and human talent. We worked closely with LSA to target and implement the right solutions with the greatest impact. I would recommend LSA to any company that’s looking for a trusted training and development partner.

Janice Passarello
Director of Human Resources

We value our relationship with LSA Global. We came to LSA because we wanted to improve overall behavioral based interviewing capabilities of our managers to increase the probability of both hiring top talent and future leaders. LSA designed a highly customized solution for our business and culture. We are currently rolling out this solution to our leaders. I would highly recommend LSA Global as a top quality resource.

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HR Project Manager - Training & Development, PHR

We recently contacted LSA Global to assist us with a unique training request. We gave LSA a very short deadline and LSA custom designed a training program to meet our exact requirements within the limited time allotted to them. We found their facilitator to be well versed in the subject matter and very credible; the design provided practical and valuable information to our team of managers. I highly recommend LSA Global, particularly in the area of management training.

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Senior Vice President

We signed up with LSA early on–as their 22nd Member! Since then, our organization’s learning needs have increased and decreased and increased again with the changing times. The beauty of the LSA business model is its flexibility…when we needed to supplement our own internal resources, we used LSA services knowing that we could depend on the outstanding quality of the leadership development and management training programs they provide.

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HR Manager

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Jim Elliott
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Samsung

We have been able to utilize LSA’s extensive network of top-notch resources to leverage our investment in employee development. The result has been the cost effective and highly efficient delivery of quality educational and management training programs.

Steve Feller
Vice President, Human Resources

Thank you to LSA Global for their partnership and support in helping us to design and roll-out our valuable management development training program. I personally have partnered with LSA Global at four of my previous companies. It continues to be a delight working with LSA. We look forward to partnering with them at Blackhawk Networks for future training and consulting needs.

Suzanne Kinner
VP Human Resources

Blackhawk Network

In the Next Generation Management Development courses, I was trained with skills and tools that have made me and my team more productive, motivated, and successful at communicating with other departments.

 

Kevin Ashman
Firmware Engineering Supervisor

Over the years, both at 3Com and now at Redback, I’ve found LSA Global to be a valuable resource. The recent compliance program that they delivered for Redback’s executive and management team was the right solution, of the highest of quality, and customized to our business and culture. I would highly recommend LSA to any company looking for top quality solutions.

Gina Fulton
Vice President of Human Resources

I’ve been associated with LSA for the last 8 years and have found them to be an extremely professional, well managed full service training organization. Since working with LSA, I’ve participated in a number of solutions ranging from Performance Management to Assertiveness Training – I’ve found that the quality of the resources is superior. They are well prepared and have definitely done a considerable amount of pre-work in order to customize our culture and business into the total learning experience – making it most beneficial for our employees.

Duane Schroeder
Human Resource Manager

Each program is preceded by an assessment of the participants. The course is then designed to fit the specific parameters and needs of the group. The highly interactive delivery is provided by recognized experts in their fields. On the spot coaching is provided during the program and each participant receives individual follow-up after the course. Courses can be delivered in-person or virtually. Given the nature of Cisco’s business and the way we operate, these remote workshops are a must for anyone who joins our company. Their work is eye opening. Great content and fantastic delivery.

Frank J. Kuypers
Business Development Manager

LSA helped us design and deliver a blended learning solution for our leaders to help drive our growth plans in a way that aligned with our specific culture and values. LSA understood our business, had deep expertise in the content areas, tailored the programs to fit our specific needs, and delivered great results. They constantly strive to deliver business impact and align their solutions with our business initiates, culture, and performance management systems. I highly recommend them to anyone looking to take their leaders to the next level.”

Beth A. Taylor
Vice President of Human Resources

Thoratec

On behalf of Roche and my staff I would like to sincerely thank you for your help with this. The English as a Second Language (ESL) assessment and coaching that you provided for our team was a great success.

Cam Greig
Associate Director

Roche

Here’s a token of my appreciation for ALL your efforts. I’m offering my most sincere appreciation, and it extends to all the folks who made our customized management development programs possible.

Susan Anderson
Workforce Planning Bureau

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